The Dangers of Bore-Out and How to Prevent it

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Boreout is a phenomenon that can happen when one gets bored with their job. It can also happen in an individual’s life when they get bored with their routine and it can lead to depression and a lack of motivation.

The opposite of Bore-Out is Burnout. Burnout is the result of too much stress, which leads to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.

So let’s have a closer look. What exactly is boreout? It is when we are completely under-challenged. Getting paid for doing nothing!“ What sounds tempting at first glance can become a real burden. Boredom and under challenge then become part of everyday life. I often felt that way. I possess the ability to grasp a subject quickly and can get to grips with it fast. I can read quickly and have done a lot of self-learning, so my way of working in an office usually gets me pretty quick into what others call a routine. For me it ends up in Bore-Out after a few months. Many of my managers didn’t realize this, and so I was always given simple tasks to do. Boreout is just as stressful as burnout.

How do you know you are suffering from Bore-Out?

Symptoms:

You have the feeling that your job lacks meaning or significance.

You have feelings of boredom, frustration, and confusion about how to make progress on work tasks.

Lack of interest in work activities, leading to reduced productivity and engagement.

You take extra time to get a task done and put in overtime in order to not show that you are not fully utilized due to the fear of getting fired.

Looking at the last paragraph, I can say that such an approach may be helpful in the short term because it feigns employment, but it won’t solve the problem in the long run as this may lead to tasks being distributed to others and you will suffer from guilt and stress with this game of hide and seek.

Bore-Out is also hazardous to our health. When we are challenged on the job, are successful and feel valued, in other words we get direct positive feedback from our colleagues and superiors, our brain releases various substances. Some of them are well-known such as the happiness hormone serotonin, the stress hormone cortisol and the bonding hormone oxytocin. These hormones help boost our mood and they act as a natural anti-inflammatory. So when we are under-challenged, fewer of these substances are released. Our mood drops and the tendency to get sick rises.

So challenges and a healthy amount of positive stress – also called eustress – can improve our mood, health and performance.

How can you use this to overcome your boreout? Here are five tips. I have a PDF where the tips are outlined in more detail.

  1. Identify and monitor your situation
  2. Try to have a conversation
  3. Create positive stress
  4. Boost your self-esteem
  5. Embark on a new start

I hoped this helped you identify if you are suffering from burn-out. Let me know!

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